Challenge what you believe

Surrogacy - How far can we go?

Surrogacy is an arrangement where a woman agrees to carry a baby for another person or couple, who will be their parents after birth.

It is, unquestionably, a topic that has created a lot of disagreement and has been largely discussed, due to its legal and ethical implications. While in some European countries this assisted reproductive technique has become legal, in Portugal, the scenario is different. But why is that? And, from here, how far can we go?

Join us on March 1st, in the debate, and dare to challenge your beliefs.

Panel of Experts

Margarida Silvestre
Consultant in Reproductive Medicine at CHUC
Mariana Moura Ramos
Psychologist in Repoductive Medicine at CHUC
Rafael Vale e Reis
Researcher at the Biomedical Law Center
Faculty of Law, University of Coimbra
Masters in Law

Miguel Oliveira da Silva
Gynaecologist and Obstetrician and
Full Professor of Medical Ethics at FMUL
Ana Carvalho
Chair holder of the Portuguese UNESCO Chair in Bioethics
Institute of Bioethics - Catholic University of Portugal


Luís Miguel Martins
Information Department's Editor of Rádio Universidade de Coimbra

Professor Margarida Silvestre is a gynaecologist and obstetrician subspecialized in Reproductive Medicine. She graduated in Medicine from Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Coimbra (FMUC) in 1989 and has been an Assistant Professor at FMUC since 2005. Currently, she works at Centro Hospitalar da Universidade de Coimbra (CHUC) as a Consultant in the Reproductive Medicine Department.

She is the Conductor of four Ethics Curricular Units (in the Integrated Master Degree in Medicine at FMUC, in the Biomedical Pharmacy Degree at Faculdade de Farmácia da Universidade de Coimbra and in two specialization courses at FMUC (Health Management and Direction Course and Health Ethics Course). Collaborator in the teaching activity of other courses: master's, doctorates, and postgraduate courses, at FMUC and other faculties of the University of Coimbra and in other universities.

With a PhD in Bioethics from Universidade Católica Portuguesa (UCP), currently, she is the Vice-President of the Sociedade Portuguesa de Medicina da Reprodução, of the FMUC Ethics Committee and of the CHUC Ethics Committee.

She is also a member of SIG Ethics and Law Steering Committee of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, National Medical Ethics and Deontology Council of the Ordem dos Médicos, College of Reproductive Medicine Subspecialty of the Ordem dos Médicos, Scientific Council of the Bioethics Institute of Universidade Católica Portuguesa and Direction of the Republic of Law - Legal Association of Coimbra.

You don’t want to miss what Professor Margarida Silvestre has to say about surrogacy. Together, we’ll try to find how far we can go!

Professor Mariana Moura Ramos has a B.Sc. in Psychology, Master in Clinical Psychology and PhD in Health Psychology at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the University of Coimbra. She has also concluded a Postgraduate Degree in Human Resources Management from the Bissaya Barreto Higher Institute.

She has developed her research in the field of Clinical and Health Psychology, focusing her interests in the study of emotional adaptation illness, namely infertility. In her PhD, she studied the adjustment of infertile couples to infertility and medically assisted procreation. Currently, Professor Mariana’s research project aims to examine the influence of the emotional processes of infertile couples on their reproductive function, by examining its psychobiological link.

Besides that, she’s also a researcher at the Research Center for Neuropsychology and Cognitive Behavioral Intervention at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the University of Coimbra, Clinical Psychologist at the Reproductive Medicine Department of Coimbra University Hospital Centre and at the Portuguese Society of Reproductive Medicine.

As if that wasn’t enough, our intervenient of the debate is a lecturer at Lusíada University and Lusophone University of Humanities and Technology, both in Porto.

We sure have a lot to learn from what she will say during the debate Surrogacy - How Far Can We Go?, so don’t miss it!

Master Rafael Vale e Reis graduated in Law, in the area of legal-forensics by the Faculty of Law of the University of Coimbra. He completed his Master’s Degree in Legal and Civil Sciences and a Post-Graduation in Civil Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Coimbra. Also concluded a Post- Graduation in Medical Law, organized by the Center for Biomedical Law of the Faculty of Law of the University of Coimbra.

Currently, he is a PhD student in Legal and Civil Sciences at the Faculty of Law of the University of Coimbra. He completed the academic part of the Doctoral Course in the 2009/2010 academic year, with the final classification of Excellent, with 18 values (the best classification of his course). He is also a guest assistant at the Faculty of Law of the University of Coimbra, currently teaching practical classes in Civil Procedural Law I, II and III.

Master Rafael Vale e Reis is a professor at the Superior Course of Legal Medicine, organized by the National Institute of Legal Medicine and the Jurisprudence Course at the Faculty of Law of the University of Coimbra. He teaches several modules in the Postgraduate Course in Notarial and Registry Law, organized by the Center for Notarial and Registry Studies (CENOR) of the Faculty of Law of the University of Coimbra.

Besides this work as a teacher, he is also a researcher at the Biomedical Law Center of the Faculty of Law of the University of Coimbra, since 2003, being involved in several research projects (including international projects) in the area of Medical Law.

Since 2004, he has been a permanent contributor to the Lex Medicinae Magazine - Portuguese Journal of Health Law at the FDUC Biomedical Law Center.

He has several publications in the area of Bioethics, Medical Law and the Right to Knowledge of Genetic Origins.

Master Rafael Vale e Reis’ perspective will certainly enrich our debate, don’t miss it!

Miguel Oliveira da Silva is a gynaecologist and obstetrician and a full professor of Medical Ethics, Ethics and Social Sciences and Philosophy of Science at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon (FMUL). With a degree in Philosophy and a PhD in Obstetrics, he was President of the National Ethics Council for Life Sciences, President of the Pedagogical Council of FMUL, and a member of the Ethics Committee for Clinical Research.

Professor Miguel Oliveira da Silva was also the coordinator of the project The State of Reproductive Health and Fertility in European Union (2008‐2011) and a Consultant at Infarmed in the area of medicine subsidies.

National representative in the areas of Bioethics at UNESCO (IGBC), European Union (NEC Forum) and Council of Europe (CDBI) since 2009, he is the first author of several articles and 6 books and of 21 book chapters on Bioethics, Gynecology-Obstetrics, sexual and reproductive health!

His curriculum leaves no doubts about the quality and importance of his intervention in the discussion of Surrogacy. Stay tuned, you don’t want to miss Professor Miguel Oliveira da Silva’s participation in the debate!

Professor Ana Sofia Carvalho has a Degree in Microbiology, Post-Graduation in Bioethics, Master in Bioethics and Medical Ethics and PhD in Biotechnology.

Currently, she works as an Associate Professor with Aggregation, Coordinator of the PhD in Bioethics and Chairholder of the Portuguese UNESCO Chair in Bioethics at the Institute of Bioethics of Catholic University of Portugal.

She is also a member of the European Group on Ethics at European Commissions and member of the National Council on Ethics in the Life Sciences, having been elected by the Council of Rectors of Portuguese Universities (Parliament).

Besides being a European Commission’s ethical assessment expert and specialist consultant to FP7 in Ethics, Science and Society, she is also Coordinator of the Program for Responsibility in Research at the Foundation for Science and Technology.

Professor Ana Sofia Carvalho was Director of the Bioethics Institute, Universidade Católica Portuguesa from 2005 to 2019.

As a congress made entirely by and for students, we proudly announce that this edition’s Debate moderator is a fellow medical student at Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Coimbra!

Luís Miguel Martins is a 4th year medical student at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Coimbra. He also as a degree in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Aveiro with a minor in Pharmaceutical Biomedicine.

He was a Junior Clinical Research Associate at C3B - Clinical Research, Ltd from March 2016 to Set 2016. Besides that, Luís Miguel Martins was a content producer at the websites and from September 2013 until May 2014. He was also a Medical Affairs Trainee at the Oncology field at MSD - Merck Sharp & Dohme from July 2014 until January 2016 and had a Training Programme in Pharmaceutical Medicine from October 2013 until December 2015.

Luís Miguel Martins has also been lightening his way with more than the medical sciences! He was the author of the programme and podcast “Medicina Nuclear” at Rádio Universidade de Coimbra from 2018 to 2019 and, currently, he works at the Information Department of Rádio Universidade de Coimbra.

With this amazing curriculum and power of will, there’s no better person to moderate the debate “Surrogacy - how far can we go?”!